Murrieta City Council approves $350,000 for failed Alta Murrieta Drive pipe to fix road collapse


The Murrieta City Council convened a special meeting Tuesday, April 21, to ratify a $350,000 water pipe replacement to mend a large sinkhole that opened on Alta Murrieta Drive during the April 11 rain storm.

The rain water leaking out from the damaged corrugated steel pipe deep underground caused a large portion of the Alta Murrieta roadway to collapse. It was the same failed water pipe which leaked in 2019 further upstream causing another sinkhole and the second failed pipe in the latest storms, according to the city engineer’s office.

The report said that the damaged pipe was removed and will be replaced by a stronger 72-inch concrete pipe by Murrieta Development Co. for $350,000. The repaired pipe will tie into the rest of the corrugated steel pipe running under the shopping center to the north and across Murrieta Hot Springs Road and east of Interstate 215.

The pipe being installed crossed another 36-inch water line and a smaller utility line, but those lines will not be affected, other than having less water pressure for a time.

He said the city is in discussion with the shopping center owners who are responsible for the steel pipe under their parking lot to have it replaced before it too may collapse.

Alta Murrieta Drive has been closed while the pipe replacement continues, and the project is expected to be completed by Wednesday, May 20.

The council approved the pipe replacement expenditure that will be paid for by gas tax funds.

The regular city council scheduled for 7 p.m. that evening was canceled due to the small agenda, but it was rescheduled for a shorter afternoon meeting. The council discussed their activities since the April 7 meeting; everyone helped with area food distributions and with other activities to help residents during the stay at home order.

They also unanimously adopted five previously discussed resolutions and the April 7 agenda minutes without any further discussion and with no requests for comment on the resolutions.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at